Road to the Societies Convention: Helen Bartlett

Helen Bartlett

We’re on week five of our countdown to the Societies Convention 2018. We’ve spoken to some fascinating photographers over the past few weeks and now, we’re chatting to family photographer Helen Bartlett about her seminar at the Convention as well as how she built a strong client base with her signature photography style.

Individuality uncovered

Helen’s ‘Finding Your Style in Family Photography’ masterclass will focus on spotting the individual strengths of each delegate. She believes photographers should keep trying to improve their skills and techniques to find their strong points:

“For family photographers, one of the best aspects of our work is repeat customers and getting to know families well from one year to the next. To keep our clients happy, it’s important to develop our skills so that each year is better than the last.”

Helen Bartlett


Helen’s beautiful black and white family photography is instantly recognisable. It is a style she has always been keen to use, after her father photographed her and her brothers in this medium and she noticed how timeless the look can be:

“I’ve always shot in black and white, as I believe it’s the perfect medium for family photography. By stripping pictures back to the essentials – to mood and emotion, to action and activity and, from a technical point of view, to graphics and use of light – it allows me to create images that will truly stand the test of time.”

Find your signature

Black and white family photography has always been Helen’s style. Over the years, she has developed a well-recognised brand that has resulted in a strong client base:

“Right from the beginning I’ve been very sure of my photographic style, black and white images take on location in a very relaxed fashion… I know what I want to achieve in my pictures. My skill level though has increased over the years, and constant work on improving my photography benefits my clients, many of whom return year on year for annual photo shoots with their families.”

Helen Bartlett

Helen’s style of photography hasn’t changed in her professional career, because she wants customers to recognise her images and associate black and white family photography with her brand:

“The fundamentals are still the same as they were on my very first photo shoot and I expect them to remain the same until my last.”

The business of photography

Helen works with Loxley Colour to provide her clients with high-quality keepsakes they can cherish. To encourage clients back, it’s important to offer clients products they can’t get elsewhere. Helen works with us because of our fantastic reputation within the industry and our high calibre of service:

“I’ve always enjoyed working with Loxley Colour as they create beautiful and innovative products that my clients love. Customer service is fantastic and the team are always on hand to make sure each and every last detail is perfect.”

Helen Bartlett

Professional photography can be a tough industry to start your own business in. Helen has two pieces of advice for aspiring professionals looking to find a niche in the market:

“First, choose the area you love; if you love photographing families then that’s what you should focus on, but if your real love is fashion, then do that. Photography is a hard industry to make a living at and you need to love what you do to make the best pictures.”

Helen Bartlett

Setting up your own business can be just as challenging as finding a unique area in the photography market or perfecting your style. Helen believes photographers should be just as savvy in this field as their profession:

“My second tip is to learn the business side of things. As creatives, it can be so easy to focus on the pictures and the equipment, the new camera or technique… You can be the very best photographer out there but without a good business structure you can’t make a living, get that sorted and family photography is, without a doubt, the best job in the world.”

Find your style, secure your place

Helen’s ‘Finding your Style in Family Photography’ masterclass is on Sunday 14th January. If you want to find your signature style, get your tickets and learn how to create an instantly recognisable look for your photography.